2 PWRR Ready for Iraq Deployment

story from PA News via Scotsman website - http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3862984

No surprises I can see, as previously reported 1 RS taking over the VHRR commitment in January.

Thu 9 Dec 2004 11:56am (UK)
Troops Ready for Iraq Deployment

By Matthew Cooper, PA

Hundreds of troops from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment were today making their final preparations for a six-month deployment in Iraq.

More than 500 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment, based at Clive Barracks in Tern Hill near Market Drayton, Shropshire, will replace 40 Commando Royal Marines in early January as part of routine rotation of UK forces.

Their commanding officer, Lt Col John Wright, told reporters gathered at the base: “We have had a period of intense training over the last few months to bring us to a level where we can do anything that’s thrown at us.

“They are ready for the challenge and they are motivated.”

The officer acknowledged that few members of the battalion, which recruits in London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and The Channel Islands, had served in Iraq before.

But he added: “I feel complete confidence in the soldiers’ and the officers’ ability to deal with the challenges that face us over the next six months.”

The battalion will be based near Basra and will be responsible for patrolling the area, escorting convoys, training Iraqi soldiers and public order duties.

Lance Cpl Daniel Poulton said he and his comrades were ready for action after being given specialist training by soldiers with experience of serving in Iraq.

The soldier, who hails from Bromley in Kent, told the Press Association: “We have been told how the people are and about different aspects of the culture there – how to get the best out of the locals and win hearts and minds.

“Obviously they have taught us about the dangers as well and we’ll be going with an insight into what’s going on out there.”

The 1st Battalion of the PWRR is based in Tidworth, Wiltshire, and has recently returned to the UK after a six-month tour of Iraq.

The 2nd Battalion has been acting as the Very High Readiness Reserve (VHRR) at 10 days’ readiness to deploy to Iraq since November 1.

The responsibility for VHRR will pass from 2 PWRR to 1st Battalion the Royal Scots in January.

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